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Thursday, 28 February 2013

Wacky Grill

What rule says you cannot BBQ on indoor fireplaces?

somerville kitchen went for this wacky idea this Thursday; placing a regular BBQ grill over the fire in the fireplace.

The wait to turn burnt wood into coals is lengthy. Then the window to grill before the coals die is short.

But the window was perfect for delicious burgers.

It sure works!

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

The Best Mango Pudding Ever (Well, Almost)

My dim sum buddies know I cannot leave the table without mango pudding.

My Indian buddies (and probably most of my readers) know how much I love mango lassi.

So when my dear lovely neighbour introduced me to the concept of making my own mango pudding, I was immediately on Fraser street looking for Pakistani made mango custards packages (and I did find).

Little did I know though that one only needs 2 Tbs of the powder for one pie - guess I will be making those weekly to use my package before expiry date.

It is a simple process. Follow the instructions on the package to make the pudding.

But be warned, the powder turns into easter egg orange colour when wet; don't be afraid, it lightens up when you finish cooking it.

But the best trick I learnt from my dear lovely neighbour is to add some fresh mangoes to the pudding.

Prepare a pie shell, make the pudding, add mangoes to pie shell, top with pudding, cool and serve.

Try the pudding package recipe with brown sugar for a richer, darker effect. Makes for a complete breakfast!

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Weekday Meal Recipe

Bon Apetit calls this recipe a weekday frittata. And it is a perfect recipe for weekday dinners.

4 cups fresh spinach
4 eggs
4 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Heat up a bit of olive oil and cook the spinach until it wilts.

Whisk the eggs and add, cook around like you are making scrambled eggs for a minute or two.

Add the cheese, a sprinkle of hot chilli and enjoy.

And if you are anti-vegetarianism, I suggest you serve it with Pastrami and baguettes.


Monday, 25 February 2013

The Holiday Party I Really Wanted To Attend

There was one holiday party that I really wanted to attend, and it was the one I missed. But thanks to Guest Correspondent Carolyn Fung, we can all live the experience together. Over to you Carolyn

Earlier last month Noise Digital had our post Christmas “party” at the Dirty Apron. Over the course of three hours, we were taught by patient Dirty Apron chefs how to prep, cook and dress three decadent, delicious dishes. Based on popular vote, we chose our menu prior to arriving at the Dirty Apron and to encourage a little friendly competition, teams were split up into three, each taking a course - appetizer, main and dessert course. Although each of the dishes sounded intimidating and fancy the chefs walked us through each step making the experience virtually fool proof. Each dish was prepped and cooked/baked by the respective teams presented and served to the rest of the group.

The entire experience was incredibly well organized by the staff at Dirty Apron and each person was given a task so that everyone ended up contributing to final meal. We were taught basic kitchen skills including how to properly bread anything and basically made to feel like pro-chefs for one night. Here are some of the most memorable moments from our Dirty Apron cooking experience:

Appetizer Team: Dungeness crab cakes and smoked paprika frilled prawns with lemon citrus

The crab cakes sat on a layer of flash-frozen avacado that was so easy to make and instantly dressed up the plate. To create this bottom layer, all we had to do was press the mean of 2-3 avacados in a ziplock bag until flat, put in the freezer and cut into slices.

When breading the Dungeness crab cakes we were taught that the trick to breading anything is to keep on hand “wet” and one hand “dry”. Keep the two separate and you’ll never end up with a  sticky mess.

Main Course: Wild mushroom & truffle crepe with herb-crusted beef tenderloin medallion

From the trimming of fat from a large piece of raw meat to the careful peeling of each individual mushroom this dish was made with extreme detail and care. Topped off with asparagus and a creamy mushroom it was a decadent and deliciously perfect main course.

Dessert: Trio of Desserts: Roast pear tart with Frangelico red wine syrup and muscat zabaglione, lemon biscotti biscuit and chocolate-dipped strawberries

  Arguably the best biscotti I have ever had with fresh out of the oven with crasins baked inside. We could smell it before we tasted it and there is nothing quite like desserts straight out of oven. The roast pear tarts were soaked in wine syrup and artfully placed on top of a flaky tart like base, the strawberries dipped in a chocolate swirl and the tart was flaky and light.

By far, the best part of the night was getting to cook and share our final dishes with each other. For anyone who is interested in trying cooking classes at the Dirty Apron I would highly recommend it. They have a variety of different classes from group cooking lessons to kitchen skills or specific dishes. The staff are great, the kitchen is world class, and even if just one night, it’s your chance to feel like a chef-extraordinaire. For more information on the Dirty Apron and their cooking classes, visit them online at for details.

Dirty Apron
540 Beatty Street
Vancouver, BC

Dirty Apron on Urbanspoon 

Thank you Guest Correspondent Carolyn Fung


Sunday, 24 February 2013

Un Vrai Marché

In the middle of a residential East Vancouver area, walking distance to somerville kitchen, one finds a café underneath a corner house.

Open this door into Le Marché St. George and find yourself in one of the most charming and authentically French cafés in the city.

This heaven is created by two sisters and their aunt who bought the house and the retail space underneath it.  Today, it is a bustling place serviced by attentive owners and their friends. 

The place is a mix of a café, a bakery, a (fancy) grocery store and a couple of fashion items along the way. Every item is unique and not your run of the mill marché produce, food or products.

The produce is seasonal and limited. But this is not where you go for your produce.

This is where you go to have a nicely done cup of coffee or hot chocolate and freshly made beignettes.

There are also quality cheeses, dairy products, sandwiches, pizzas and all sorts of goodies. I think I need to return, try more goodies, pick up a thing or two and tell you more about Le Marché St. George. 

  But best of all, a cosy warm and hopping spot. Anyone joining me?

 Le Marché St. George
4393 St. George Street
Vancouver, BC

Le Marché St. George on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Kabab Koobideh Feast - The Food

Yesterday you read about the production (Read The Production). And here's the awaited food.

The talented Iranian also brought the authentic Iranian picnic's BBQ for the real experience.

The Kabab Koobideh smelled delicious and batch after batch, they were quickly BBQ'd as hungry feasters awaited.

In a typical Iranian fashion, the Kababs were served on Iranian bread. When this bread soaks with the meat juice and grilled tomatoes, it becomes very tasty. In Iran, this is referred to as 'sister in law' - the theories about what this means were pure added entertainment for the evening.

Everything was consumed and it was a very pleasant evening indeed.

Thank you talented Iranian for a lovely meal and evening.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Kabab Koobideh Feast - The Production

A talented Iranian brought a Kabab Koobideh Feast to somerville kitchen - watch it live.

The smashing evening started with the talented Iranian bringing a full kitchen into somerville kitchen.

But what caught my eyes first was this. Seeing the look on my face, the talented Iranian quickly ascertained that this is not a weapon of mass destruction.

While looking like a bomb shell, it is really a hand made container to hold special Kabab Koobideh skewers. 

It seems that the meat mixture is very heavy and needs heavy wide skewers to hold it. Otherwise, all that hard work mounting them on the skewer you witnessed in the video above will go to waste if the meat falls off the skewers into the fire.

Between chatting and glasses of wine, a ratio of 3 humongous skewers per guest were laid out on those made-for-Kabab Koobideh skewer holders (yes, those Iranians are very talented people).

In addition to meat, tomatoes and hot peppers made it onto thinner skewers.

Kabab Koobideh is eaten over a large portion of Iranian rice.

As part of the production, a huge pot of Iranian smoked basmati rice went on the stove and an Iranian salad was being produced.

So what happened with all this food? Tune back tomorrow for Kabab Koobideh Feast - The Feasting. See you then.

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Should I Invest?

Two weeks ago, you read about the investment opportunity in Toast Now ™. Thanks to many comments from readers, I decided to think more about it until...

... the investors, excited about a partnership in Sapporo, Japan, asked to come back for another demonstration.

The Japan soon-to-be franchisee, it seems, is working the concept of toast sushi - raw fish on toast.

"come on over", I said.

"There is no franchising requirements to have only wacky sandwiches - we'd guarantee that your top selling one will be a simple ham and cheese toast".  Well maybe if you brought your own pickles with you rather than using my home made Lebanese ones for the demo, I thought.

Reading the annoyed look on my face; 'let me offer you a favourite of the 80's potlucks dish that always made an excellent appetizer - raisin bread with brie cheese and hazelnuts".  Okay, they held my interest for another 25 minutes.

Now I have a completely blank look on my face. So emotional marketing kicked in by bringing back the one I really liked in the first demo - the avocado lemon toast (I did not want to admit that I have been making it for lunch all last week).

So Toast Now ™, I ask, what are your views about inclusion of waffles or not on the menu (I could not imagine how waffles will work with raw fish on toast in Japan). "A wise marketer once told me", they answered, "that our best bet is to specialize, specialize, specialize. And since we are still building the brand, best to stick to the basics - Toast". Impressed, I am now back considering this opportunity (despite insisting on a waffle).


Help out with my decision readers - thank you.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Dr. Oetker Meets Replacement Chef

Dr. Oetker ran into Replacement Chef at the store. Dr. Oetker was having financial issues so he discounted his Ristorante pizzas. 

Replacement Chef was making busy me dinner, by the way.

Replacement Chef described Dr. Oetker Ristorante pizzas as the best frozen pizzas. 

But Dr. Oetker looked a bit frail and needed some fattening up. So the fridge was searched for vitamins.

Dr. Oetker Ristorante Vegetale - the original.

The vitamin-enhanced version included pastrami, spinach, tomatoes, black olives and freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Dr. Oetker Ristorante Spinaci - the original.

The vitamin-enhanced version included more fresh spinach, black olives, a bit of tomatoes and a thin layer of freshly grated parmesan.

What a delicious pizza production - Thank you Replacement Chef!